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UK workers with AI skills offered 14% wage premium amid rapid growth for roles

UK businesses are now offering a hefty 14 percent wage premium for AI-savvy roles, reflecting the sector’s explosive expansion, PwC’s latest global AI jobs barometer reveals.

The report, which scrutinised over 500 million job ads across 15 nations, shows that UK demand for AI expertise, such as machine learning capabilities, has skyrocketed, outpacing overall job growth by 3.6 times.

Back in 2012, a mere three out of every 1,000 UK job listings sought AI proficiency; by 2023, this figure leapt to nine per 1,000, surpassing the global rise in AI job opportunities, according to PwC’s findings.

Moreover, industries recently embracing AI skills have witnessed notable productivity leaps.

PwC UK’s chief economist Barret Kupelian remarked: “Our findings show that AI has the power to create new industries, transform the jobs market and potentially push up productivity growth rates.”

He added, “In terms of the economic impact, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg currently our findings suggest that the adoption of AI is concentrated in a few sectors of the economy, but once the technology improves and diffuses across other sectors of the economy, the future potential could be transformative.”

The report also underscored the lucrative potential for jobs demanding AI expertise, revealing a 14 percent average wage increase for such roles in the UK.

It was noted that legal positions requiring knowledge of AI command a substantial 27 percent salary hike.

In the US, the value placed on AI capabilities by employers is even more pronounced, with an average wage premium of 25 percent for those equipped with AI skills.

Mr Kupelian remarked: “Countries and sectors that have a high demand for AI skills tend to see higher wage premiums, especially if there is a scarcity of skilled professionals, whereas in areas where there is a more abundant supply of AI talent, lower premiums are more likely.”

“Although on the surface lower wage premiums may sound less favourable, all else being equal, they suggest a balance between labour supply and demand, and could potentially foster greater AI adoption and innovation over the long term.”


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